With the headphone jack now part of the feature list that is specific to limited devices, bluetooth headsets have become even more ubiquitous in recent years. However, the key feature of great bluetooth headsets is the ability to connect the cans to two devices at the same time. this allows people to do things like play video games, watch movies, or perform other tasks, while also monitoring their phone in case of an urgent call, or maybe they just want to listen to music in addition to other activity. that’s where multipoint bluetooth headsets come in.
multipoint bluetooth pairing is not to be confused with multipoint bluetooth pairing, which allows you to pair multiple devices (often up to seven or eight) with your headphones and have the headphones remember the device for easy repair. however, without true multipoint bluetooth pairing, a given pair of earbuds can only be actively paired with one device at a time; you must manually switch to another device if you want to access it as an audio source.
apple and samsung offer a variation of bluetooth multipoint pairing called “auto switching” which only works for their respective devices. For example, you can have your AirPods Pro connected to your iPhone and Mac simultaneously (and an iPad), but a non-Apple device can’t be in the mix for simultaneous pairing. Samsung’s various Galaxy Buds have a similar arrangement with Galaxy smartphones and tablets.
In the past, enterprise-focused headsets, some of which included built-in boom mics, offered advanced multipoint bluetooth pairing. but the feature has gradually made its way to more consumer headsets, which is what we’re focusing on here. (We also have a list of the best headsets for wfh which includes some of the business class headsets with boom mics and usb dongles for reliable wireless pc connectivity). Unfortunately, multipoint bluetooth pairing isn’t easy to implement at all, let alone implement reliably, particularly with true wireless earbuds.
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“Until recently, bluetooth chips supported a maximum of two simultaneous connections,” explains jonathan levine, CEO and founder of master & dynamic. “This facilitates multipoint for headsets, where one cable connects both headsets. However, for a true wireless product, one of the two connections is consumed by the other headset, leaving only one connection available to an audio source. State-of-the-art connectivity protocols have allowed true wireless products to connect much more easily and avoid the maximum limit of two connections.”
Still, some companies like master & Dynamic and Jabra, who have been early adopters of Qualcomm’s latest SOCs (systems on a chip), added multipoint, and sometimes other features, via a firmware update long after their new headsets were released. the jabra elite 7 pro has finally been upgraded with bluetooth multipoint and master & mw08 and mw08 sport from dynamic should have the feature soon. both companies use qualcomm chips.
That said, there are enough headsets out there that support multipoint already, so we rounded up our favorites here. Please note that this list does not include the aforementioned Apple and Samsung earbuds, as their respective auto-switch only works within their own branded ecosystem.
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